Outgoing Rep. Beto O’RourkeBeto O’RourkeBiden will help close out Texas Democrats’ virtual convention: report O’Rourke on Texas reopening: ‘Dangerous, dumb and weak’ Parties gear up for battle over Texas state House MORE (D-Texas) narrowly leads former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE as a potential 2020 contender among members of the progressive group MoveOn.org.
A straw poll released by the group on Tuesday put O’Rourke ahead of Biden by little more than half a percentage point — 15.6 percent to 14.95 percent. Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) comes in after that at 13.15 percent.
A plurality of members surveyed — 17.89 percent — said they either didn’t know who they would choose in 2020 or that they preferred “someone else,” the survey found.
The straw poll results listed 33 potential Democratic hopefuls, although one of the would-be candidates on the survey, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, has said he will not seek the party’s presidential nomination in 2020.
The results bolster O’Rourke’s growing clout in the field of would-be Democratic challengers to President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE, especially among progressive and liberal voters, who are seen as crucial to winning the party’s nomination.
The soon-to-be-former Texas representative emerged as a sort of rock star in Democratic politics this year as he mounted a high-profile — though ultimately unsuccessful — Senate bid against Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote The Hill’s Morning Report – Trump’s public standing sags after Floyd protests GOP senators introduce resolution opposing calls to defund the police MORE (R-Texas).
While he threw cold water on the possibility of a White House run earlier this year, O’Rourke has since opened the door to a bid, saying late last month that he and his wife would not “rule anything out.”
While O’Rourke narrowly leads the field of potential Democratic contenders listed in the straw poll, MoveOn’s members appear to be splintered in their support.
Only four possible candidates — O’Rourke, Biden, Sanders and Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook McEnany says Juneteenth is a very ‘meaningful’ day to Trump MORE (D-Calif.) — managed to get more than 10 percent support in the survey. Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.), who is already building up her operation for a potential 2020 bid, came in fifth place, after Harris, with 6.42 percent support.
MoveOn endorsed Sanders in 2016 after he garnered the support of 78 percent of voters in the group’s straw poll to beat out Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE, the eventual Democratic nominee.
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But unlike in 2016, the Democratic field is expected to be far more crowded this year, with around three dozen potential candidates rumored to be weighing presidential bids.
MoveOn isn’t yet endorsing a potential presidential candidate. That won’t come until later, when the group holds a formal vote by its members, the group said in an email.
MoveOn’s latest straw poll offered some clues about what progressive voters may be looking for in their next presidential candidate.
More than 63 percent of respondents said they want candidates “who inspire the public with deep progressive values and will move us toward a more progressive future where everyone can thrive,” the group said.
Another 54 percent said they are looking for candidates “who make the connections between racial, social, and economic injustice and commit to platform positions to see these connections through,” according to MoveOn.